Thursday, September 26, 2019

review - MISS SAIGON - National Tour: ASU Gammage

Anthony Festa and Emily Bautista
Photo by Matthew Murphy
highlights from local critics reviews - (click link at bottom of each review to read complete review)

Click here for more information on this production that runs through September 29.

"..While Miss Saigon plays somewhat into stereotypical portrayals, it has a score rich with soaring ballads and a simple yet heartbreaking story about a young Asian woman and a white American soldier who find each other toward the end of the Vietnam War. With a fantastic cast and visually stunning creative aspects, the touring production is quite impressive...Emily Bautista is powerful and emotionally thrilling as Kim. Her singing voice is rich and bright and soars with emotion fused into every lyric...As The Engineer, Red Concepcion is full of energy and charisma...Chris is haunted by the events of his past, and Anthony Festa does a very good job in providing some layers to the character. His singing voice is exceptional ...Seeing Miss Saigon today, the plot seems somewhat more predictable and melodramatic from when I first saw it almost thirty years ago. I also wonder if the fact that the Vietnam War is now 30 years further behind us and that Vietnam is now a vacation destination has softened some of the emotional relevance of the time period and the feeling an audience now has concerning the impact the war had on the Vietnamese people. Fortunately, the musical is still moving, especially in the arc of Kim's character and the intense hope she has that Chris will return, and there is a stirring theatrical sense about the show in the way the structure of the plot uses shifts in time and flashbacks to advance the narrative and how many scenes explode into elaborate production numbers. Also, while it's an epic romance of two young people set against the historical event of the end of the Vietnam War and the fall of Saigon in 1975, the issues and topics it focuses on, from the plight of the immigrants trying to find a better future for themselves to America's involvement in other country's wars, and the subjugation of women, are still incredibly relevant today. " -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

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